Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
|Founded||Monterey, California (1996)|
Number of locations
|44 restaurants |
The Bubba Gump Shrimp Company Restaurant and Market is an American seafood restaurant chain inspired by the 1994 film Forrest Gump. As of July 2015, forty Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurants operate worldwide. Twenty-nine of these locations are in the United States, four are in Mexico, three are in Malaysia, and one each in London, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, and the Philippines. The company is based in Houston, Texas, and has been a division of Landry's Restaurants since 2010.
The first Bubba Gump restaurant opened in 1996 in Monterey, California by Viacom Consumer Products. That firm's parent company, Viacom, is owner of Paramount Pictures, the distributor of Forrest Gump, and also owns the Rusty Pelican restaurant chain. The Bubba Gump restaurant is named after the film's characters Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue and Forrest Gump. In the film, Bubba suggested getting in the shrimping business and, ultimately, Forrest pursued the idea after Bubba's death in the Vietnam War.
In 1995, Paramount Pictures approached Rusty Pelican Restaurants Inc. with a desire to create a restaurant based on a theme from Paramount's 1994 film Forrest Gump. The Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. was created as a result. Within a year the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. created a concept idea for the restaurant chain which was then licensed by Paramount Licensing, Inc. In 1996, the first Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant was opened in Monterey, California; its success led to its franchising on an international scale.
Like the name suggests, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.'s menu consists mostly of shrimp dishes and other seafood, as well as Southern and Cajun cuisine. The restaurant offers dishes named after characters in the movie, like Jenny’s Catch and the restaurant’s bestseller Forrest’s Seafood Feast. Restaurants display movie memorabilia throughout the restaurant. Guests can play Forrest Gump movie trivia and can signal their waiter with a “Stop, Forrest, Stop” sign. Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. also has a children’s menu.
In 2013, a former Bubba Gump employee claimed that the social media policy in the company's employee handbook had a restrictive effect on employees’ rights by prohibiting them from discussing their jobs online. In 2015, a National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge ruled that Bubba Gump did not violate employees’ rights as they did not explicitly prohibit employees from discussing job-related subjects, but only expected them to do so in a civil manner.  There have been many cases in the last few years in which the National Labor Relations Board found companies social media policies to be overbroad and ruled in favor of the employee(s).
Actor Chris Pratt was discovered in 2000 while working as a waiter at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. in Maui, Hawaii. He waited on the table of actor/director Rae Dawn Chong, who had starred in one of Pratt's favorite films, Commando. Chong offered Pratt a role in a short movie she was directing at the time.
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- Oldham, Douglas M. (7 July 2015). "Outlier...or National Labor Relations Board Shift on Social Media Policies?". The National Law Review. Barnes & Thornberg LLP. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
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- Nestor, Alexander (26 July 2015). "Surprise! NLRB Approves Employer's Challenged Social Media Policy". The National Law Review. Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP. ISSN 2161-3362. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
- Kaleem Aftab (30 July 2014). "Chris Pratt: From Parks and Recreation to Guardians of the Galaxy". The Independent.
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